Enraged protesters smashed the windows of a Utah government building and smeared red paint to mimic blood after two officers who fatally shot a 22-year-old in the back 34 times as he walked away escaped assassinations after the murder had been committed. justified by state law.
A man was injured and two residents were arrested late in Salt Lake City on Thursday evening after DA Sim Gill announced that officers Neil Iversen and Kevin Fortuna would not be charged with the death of Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal.
The decision was an irreparable blow to community members and activists who gathered outside the Salt Lake County prosecutor’s office for weeks to demand a full investigative report on the death of Palacios-Carbajal.
Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal was shot by agents Iversen and Fortuna outside Utah Village Motel in the early hours of May 23 after responding to reports of a suspect “making threats with a weapon.”
Officers shot Palacios-Carbaja three dozen times and hit him 13 to 15 times after claiming he was armed and feared for their lives as he walked away from them.
Gill said that under Utah law, the use of lethal force by the police was legally justified.
The law states that officers can use lethal force if “the suspect has committed a crime that caused or threatens to cause death or serious bodily injury,” “prevent” the suspect’s escape, or “the suspect threatens death “or serious bodily harm to the officer or to others,” he said.
“In this case, it is justified under the law,” said Gill.
The Salt Lake Tribune Protest organizer Sofia Alcalá reports a form of civil disobedience after the prosecutor’s decision was revealed.
“They will feel the wrath of the f ****** community today,” she warned.
A video shared by attorney T. Greg Docette showed that Salt Lake City police officers accuse and beat a group of peaceful protesters.
“Another view  in Salt Lake City UT, while police are suing and hitting unarmed protesters for the horrific crime of saying the word “s ***” aloud, “Doucette wrote on Twitter.
“The police are still rebelling …”
The footage shows a group of protesters singing “Don’t start no s ***, Won’t be no s ***” to a human wall of police officers wearing riot gear and shields.
Suddenly, the line of officers rushes at the protesters and roughly push people with their shields and batons.
Protesters are heard screaming in fear as officers’ exhortation for using such brute force on peaceful protesters.
‘What’s wrong with you? These are peaceful protesters! a man shouts. A woman in front of him is immediately hit with a stick.
The group of protesters then joins the arms to form a human barricade, in spite of the officers. They sing: ‘Unified power’ and ‘Justice for Bernardo’.
The footage ends with officers attacking the crowd again while protesters shout. Some protesters used a bicycle to repel officers KSL.com.
Before then, dozens of protesters waited outside the prosecutor’s office on Thursday in hopes of assassinations, but were let down by the announcement – widening the growing divide between law enforcement officers and civilians since George Floyd’s death in May.
About 150 residents descended from the prosecutor’s office after 6 p.m. and hoisted signs demanding justice and chanting “How many shots?” 34! ‘
The streets of Salt Lake City turned red as protesters spilled paint in front of the prosecutor’s office to smear it down the stairs, sidewalks, and doorways.
The red paint, according to protesters, was symbolic of the blood on the hands of DA Sim Gill after he had not brought charges against the officers.
Red handprints were seen on the building’s entrance sign, along with a photo of Palacios-Carbajal.
Messages scribbled in paint included “too much blood,” “Sim Gill you killed,” “Abolish all police,” and “Respect or expect resistance.”
The DA office’s glass doors were covered with protest signs declaring Black Lives Matter and Defund the Police.
Organizers had made speeches to the growing crowd – now around 300 – stating that Palacios-Carbajal should not be dead and that police could have relied on non-lethal violence, such as using an anesthetic gun or tackling him .
They wondered where Palacios-Carbajal would be now if officers Iversen and Fortuna had used a Taze pistol instead.
Then, protesters break three glass windows of the prosecutor’s office when vans full of officers arrive on the scene.
Police chief Mike Brown said this was the reason city officials declared the event an “illegal meeting” and attempted to shut it down.
“I sincerely hoped that the protest would remain peaceful tonight as it has night after night,” Brown wrote on Twitter.
“Unfortunately, when they started breaking windows [Salt Lake County District Attorney] office, we declared it an illegal meeting. ‘
The two group meetings only led to clashes when police helicopters flew overhead and protesters shouted, “We’re not afraid!”
Protesters reportedly threw bottles, pieces of wood and other debris at officers and refused to leave the area.
“Objects are being used against us, violence is being used against you,” an officer reportedly said.
Some officers were injured, reportedly urging police to respond by pushing some to the ground and beating them with clubs.
A police car was deliberately rammed into a demonstrator’s vehicle used as a barricade.
Salt Lake City police said an unspecified number of officers had been hit with pepper spray.
An injured demonstrator had to be taken away while a police officer went to hospital for treatment.
Two residents were arrested during the commotion, but their identity and the reason for it were not revealed.
A video shared on Facebook showed Sofia Alcalá, captivated by officers saying she was arrested for “property destruction.”
Earlier, protesters shared a permanent marker to write phone numbers on their arms in case they were taken into custody.
Activists on Twitter shared tips to hide their identities and prevented media teams from filming certain aspects of the protest.
A group surrounded a handful of journalists with umbrellas to block their cameras after Salt Lake City police used footage from previous protests to construct cases in recent arrests.
The authorities had felt a fleeting confrontation and told the local media about the riot gear.
City officials told employees in an email that they would be working from home on Thursdays and Fridays to avoid skirmishes.
The mounting tension between civilians and law enforcement officers proved too great for Utah Governor Gary Herbert, who declared a state of emergency on Thursday evening.
The warrant sealed off the Utah State Capitol and allowed the Utah Department of Public Safety to mobilize.
The order said that “recent protests have turned violent and civil unrest has resulted in bodily harm and destruction of private and public property, including extensive defacement of a Utah State Capitol building.”
The implementing decision will remain in force until July 13 at 11:59 pm.
Bodycam footage released by police in June showed that the two officers arrived on site outside the Utah Village Motel and saw a man – Palacios-Carbajal – immediately run them across the parking lot.
Police chased him on foot with weapons drawn, as an officer says through the police radio that he is armed.
“He’s got a gun in his pocket. He’s reaching to the right… ”the officer hears.
The chase continues in an alley and the police are shouted ‘stop’, ‘show me your hands’ or ‘drop’ a total of 17 times.
When they reach Granary Storage’s parking lot, Palacios-Carbajal stumbles and falls before getting up and falling again.
Palacios-Carbajal stumbles and falls before rising and falling again. A cop shouts at him taser, but moments later a hail of gunfire rings
The police chased him on foot with drawn weapons, as an officer says through police that the suspect is armed
A cop shouts at him taser, but moments later a hail of gunfire rings.
The Palacios-Carbajal family called on the officers to be charged with his murder, pointing out that he ran away when they shot him and that bodycam footage does not show him pointing a weapon during the chase.
The family said they plan to sue the police and vowed to work with protesters to reform authorities’ policies.
“That is not the right decision [Gill] and we will continue to fight, ”said Lucy Carbajal, his mother, in Spanish to the Salt Lake Tribune.
“And while my son is not here, he gives us the right to continue fighting so that mothers like me don’t lose their sons like they killed my son. That was cowardice. ‘